pumpkin choc pancakes

pumpkin choc pancakespumpkin choc pancakes

With Halloween {& Miss G.’s birthday} just around the corner we decided to get into the spooky spirit this morning and create a gorgeous batch of pancakes spiked with cinnamon roasted pumpkin and deep dark choc chips.

And these orange hued choc studded babies are delicious.

Since our baby led weaning journey began I have created so many incarnations of pancakes/pikelets/hotcakes.  Why?  Because they’re so simple to prepare and the shape and texture of pancakes are perfect for little hands to grip and nibble on with ease, especially for beginners.  A batch of fruit laden pancakes make the ultimate fuss-free blw breakfast, lunch box addition or on-the-go snack and they also keep wonderfully in the deep freeze!

Todays pancakes are really all about the pumpkin.  Rather than boiling or steaming, I decided to smother the pumpkin in cinnamon and roast until gorgeously golden and amazingly sweet.  And once pureed the intensely sweet pumpkin added so much natural sweetness to the batter there was very little need for sugar other than a little drizzle or two of maple syrup.

But I did decide to add dark chocolate chips to the batter because what would Halloween be without a little naughty treat.   And I’m so glad I did because the warm gooey pockets of melted dark chocolate are divine and were a huge hit with Miss G.  So much so, she was fishing them out of the batter before we’d even had a chance to cook them.

To create your own halloween inspired pumpkin choc pancakes simply…

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caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries

caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberriescaramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries

I adore everything about winter.

The cosy clothes, endless cups of hot tea and days spent with the slow cooker bubbling away in the kitchen are my idea of heaven.

The late winter sunrise also guarantees a greatly appreciated sleep in most mornings and when Miss G. finally stirs she is more than happy to huddle, snuggle and cuddle under the warm cosy covers until we finally pluck up enough courage to face the frosty morning together.

Most mornings we make our way straight to the kitchen to heat up our beloved oats with a little stewed apple but this morning I decided something a little extra special was required so we put together this super simple caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries.

Although I have a very special place in my heart for traditional pancakes, on a frosty winter morning when immediate warming nourishment is required I much prefer the fuss free nature of the Dutch pancake.  There is no standing over a fry pan endlessly flipping pancakes, simply pour the batter over a little caramelised fruit and pop into a piping hot oven.  Fifteen minutes later a perfectly puffed and gorgeously golden fruit studded pancake emerges ready to be devoured.

Todays incarnation of our fuss free pancake included caramelised banana and fresh strawberries and really was baby led weaning winter breakfast perfection.  The texture of the pancake is perfect for little hands to hold and nibble away on with ease and when served alongside fresh strawberries and a little yoghurt, this breakfast will have your little one satisfied all morning long.

To create this winter warming caramelised banana dutch pancake with fresh strawberries simply…

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wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast bread

wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast bread

wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast bread

This wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast bread saved my sanity this morning.

Thanks to eye teeth charging their way through her swollen, red and very sore gums Miss G. was once again refusing to eat.

She was one very cranky little girl.

And rightfully so.

Teething is just awful.

I keep asking myself why the poor little darlings have to endure all of this pain only to lose these teeth a few years down the track.

I hate seeing her in pain, my heart breaks.  Equally as awful is watching her refuse to eat.

This morning I tried absolutely everything but not a crumb passed her lips.

My last resort was to bake.

There is nothing quite like a loaf of gorgeousness nestled in the oven filling the house with the fragrance of cinnamon and baked apple to wet Miss G’s. appetite and interest.  Mine too.

But with an upset snuggly bubby nestled permanently on my hip my hands and time were very limited so I decided to pile all of the makings of a wholesome, fruit filled and sugar free breakfast bread into my food processor and blitz.

The results were sublime.

This bread is dense, moist, chock full of apple and echoes the wholesome gorgeousness of maple syrup and vanilla.

Along with a few slices of apple and a small handful of raspberries Miss G. devoured a still warm slice of the apple packed breakfast bread.

****insert happy face here****

To create this wonderfully wholesome apple & cinnamon breakfast bread simply…

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mango & coconut muffins

mango & coconut muffins

mango & coconut muffins

Oh I can not begin to tell you how utterly amazing it feels to be back in my kitchen cooking my simple recipes once again.

Last weeks layered white chocolate birthday cake fiasco left me reeling.

I won’t go into too much detail here (birthday post coming soon) but I will say there were tears, tantrums and meltdowns of epic proportions and I am not talking about Miss G. and her journey into toddlerhood.

Let’s just say I had quite obviously bitten off more than I could bake after being caught up in the sublime beauty that is pinterest.

I now have a new found respect for those seriously talented mummy’s (and daddy’s) out there who bake and create some seriously incredible birthday cakes with ease!

I clearly am not one of them.

And that’s ok.  I am more than happy to stick to my simple little recipes that are a joy to bake and a pleasure to eat.

Speaking of which today’s recipe is a beautiful batch of muffins chock full of gorgeously juicy fresh mango and coconut.

I adore mangoes.  Being Aussie I’m pretty sure the love of mango is coded into our DNA somehow.  That and our love affair with hot days, long summers, sandy beaches and cold beer.

For me, summer begins the moment I see mangoes adorning the shelves of the fruit market and although they’re usually ridiculously over priced I can’t help but pick up a couple.  Yesterday with the first mangoes of the season in my shopping bag I couldn’t wait to get home and prepare a little for Miss G. to see if indeed my DNA theory stood true.

And although I am very happy to report that yes the love affair with mangoes has percolated down the old DNA Miss G. did have a little trouble eating the slippery pieces of tropical fruit.   In an attempt to make the mango a little easier to handle I decided to stud a batch of muffins with the gorgeous flesh of a large perfectly ripe muffin.

Success.

Strewn through a wholemeal coconut muffin the mango was much easier for her little hands to hold and she scoffed down her muffin along with a little orange for morning tea.

To create your own batch of these mango and coconut studded muffins simply…

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blueberry breakfast muffins

blueberry breakfast muffins

blueberry breakfast muffins

Not a big fan of toast I have been experimenting with new recipes for Miss G’s breakfast.

And these beautiful blueberry and muesli studded breakfast muffins are my latest creation.

It’s no secret I am a big fan of muffins.

Who isn’t?

They are simple to prepare.

Cook quickly.

Make a great on-the-go snack.

Freeze fabulously.

And are wonderful way to get extra fruit and vegetables into the little ones.

I adore them and luckily Miss G. does too.

This morning I stirred together my usual yoghurt muffin batter however replaced the sugar with maple syrup, added a little cinnamon, a generous helping of beautiful bright blueberries along with a big handful of our favourite muesli.

The results were delicious.

The baked blueberries burst creating pools of jammy fruity goodness strewn throughout the muffins and the muesli created a gorgeous golden crust.

Breakfast perfection.

To create your own batch of these beautiful little blueberry breakfast muffins simply…

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baby friendly maple french toast

baby friendly french toast

baby friendly french toast

Most mornings breakfast is a pretty simple affair.

A little avocado on toast, fresh strawberries and half a banana is our usual fare.

However most mornings I wonder why I bother with the toast.

Rather than eating the bread and avocado together old school style Miss G.’s unique approach is to lick the toast clean of avocado leaving most of the golden bread behind.

A little worried about her clear lack of carb loading I have experimented with each and every type of loaf under the sun.

Wholemeal, multigrain, soy and linseed, farmers loaves, sourdough, pita bread, toasted turkish, english muffins, you name it I’ve tried it but still no luck.

It seems Miss G. just isn’t digging toast (or bread of any kind) which leaves me short on quick and easy baby led weaning breakfast options.  Something this sleep deprived mama most definitely doesn’t need first thing in the morning.

Todays breakfast of baby friendly french toast is my last ditch attempt to see if Miss G. will enjoy toast for breakfast.  I figure the golden eggy softer texture and lashings of  maple syrup might just sway her.

Miss G.

And it did.

She loved the french toast.

The softer texture was definitely more up her alley and I was so pleased to see her gobble up an entire piece of maple soaked toast along with a handful of fresh berries and dollop of yoghurt.

From now on I’ll be whipping up a batch on the weekend when I have a little more time on my hands and freezing the leftovers to enjoy when the midweek madness hits.

To create your own gorgeously golden eggy toast smothered in maple syrup and fresh berries simply…

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pear & cinnamon pikelets

pear & cinnamon pikelets

pear & cinnamon pikelets

A lot of mums and dads beginning the baby led weaning journey often quiz me for breakfast ideas.  In particular they’re always keen to know what Grace enjoys for breakfast and the recipes that go along.  It seems a lot of us mum’s and dad’s are fresh out of morning meal ideas so today I thought I would share with you some of our biggest breakfast hits.

On weekdays Miss G usually has a breakfast of apple wedges, fresh strawberries and a piece of wholegrain toast smeared with half an avocado.  Grace adores avocado and each morning without fail she happily gobbles up most of her toast and any that does remain is licked clean of avocado.  I also prepare a little fresh orange juice by squeezing half an orange into her sippy cup filled with half a cup of water that Grace also enjoys.

Another breakfast that Grace really appreciates is ricotta and cinnamon fruit toast; which is a lovely piece of organic rye bread toasted, adorned with a thick layer of creamy ricotta, studded with thinly sliced apple or fresh raspberries and dusted with a little cinnamon.  I love making this for our breakfast as the smell of cinnamon on hot toast is divine and fills me with precious memories of lovely cooking moments from my childhood.

The weekend is usually when we spend a little more time enjoying breakfast and this is when I usually prepare a lovely stack of golden pikelets usually studded with fruit, some scones or a batch of morning muffins.  So far some of our favourites have been raspberry pikelets, banana choc muffins, blueberry scones, strawberry muffins, raspberry chocolate muffins, and pear cinnamon and almond muffins.

Today in lieu of the fast approaching weekend I decided to stir together a simple batch of pikelets and thanks to a gorgeous pile of just ripe pears nestled in our fruit bowl I decided to make it a batch of pear and cinnamon pikelets.  These pikelets are gorgeous, they are the perfect ratio of tender moist vanilla and cinnamon scented crumb to juicy sweet pieces of pear and are a breeze to prepare.

To create your own delicious stack of pear pimped pikelets simply…

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